Sprint to Success

If you are like most intense runners, the pinnacle of our training tends to lean on the endurance end of the long run. The short intense repeat training seems to take the back seat involving around 10 percent of the training curriculum. The bulk of training is dedicated to longer periods of movement, but after further research, turns out that short sprints can produce the same if not better results.

Short Intense Movements

Bottom line, adding 30-50 second all-out sprints to your training yields excellent results. Especially if time does not allow for a long steady endurance exercise. Sprint movements can produce the same if not better cardiovascular benefits as some of the longer endurance runs.

Shorter and Faster

Training does require endurance, which includes long runs that last from one-hour plus of continue running. Many people do not commit to 60-minutes or more of training because of time challenges or level of running investment. If you’re short on time, and are not at a high level of commitment in training, but want to improve you fitness, sprint workouts might be a perfect solution. Not to mention committed trainers need this tool to enhance the fitness level for successful racing. Evidence shows that short, high intensity sprint workouts improve aerobic capacity and endurance in about half the time of traditional long runs. Professional and amateur runners who are looking for balance and success need both short and long workouts in the training mix.

 Sprint Workouts

Sprint training is excellent for elite as well as amateur runners to improve overall performance. Recent studies show that a sprint training session of six repeats equals one one-hour session of continual running.  In fact, one study found that just six workouts of six all-out thirty-second sprints with three-minute recovery in between could be as effective at improving aerobic fitness as an hour of daily moderate-level aerobic exercise.


 Sprint workouts increase strength in running muscles by implementing quick springs involving leg and hip movements. Building leg and hip muscles reduces injuries and improves muscle endurance aiding in longer movements without rest. Sprints also encourage leg turnover ratio which activate fast-twitch muscles allowing for faster pace, which improves a runners PR. It is imperative to include the sprint workout as part of the training curriculum. Sprints are the secret weapon which produces both speed and aerobic fitness.

Sprint Workouts

  1. Perform sprint workout routines twice a week with at least one-day between workouts.
  2. Warm up with an easy run for 5-10 minutes. Engage in some light stretching.
  3. Perform your first sprint at about 60 percent max intensity, holding for 30-40 seconds.
  4. Recover for two-three minutes with a light jog or walk, but keep moving.
  5. Perform your next sprint at about 80 percent max intensity. Holding for 30-40 seconds.
  6. Recover for two-three minutes with a light jog or walk, keep moving.
  7. Perform the remainder of your sprints at 100 percent max intensity or all-out efforts of 30-40 seconds.
  8. Recover for two-three minutes after each sprint with slow jog or walk, keep moving.
  9. Cool down with a 10-minute jog followed by light stretching. Drink plenty of water: congratulations!


Sprint Session Structure. Each session should include four-eight sets of sprints. Perform this specific endurance training twice a week. There you have it” Sprint to success!”


Happy Running!

John Carlson
Coach RRCW